Tulare Joint Union
High School District
Tulare Joint Union High School District

Foster youth (Resources & Information)

Foster youth are children that the state removes from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. A family that is able to care for them and provide them with the love, support, and the stability they need to grow will take them in.

There are many misconceptions about foster care. Some people think that foster kids don't get an education or they don't have any stability. The reality is that foster kids can go to school and stay in the same school district as their friends who live in their hometown, while still living with a family who cares for them.


Foster youth means a child who has been removed from their home pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code 309, is the subject of a petition filed under Welfare and Institutions Code 300 or 602, or has been removed from their home and is the subject of a petition filed under Welfare and Institutions Code 300 or 602 or is a non-minor who is under the transition jurisdiction of a juvenile court, as described in Welfare and Institutions Code 450, and satisfies the criteria specified in Education Code 42238.01. (Education Code 42238.01, 48853.5) 

Person holding the right to make educational decisions is usually the parent unless the parent's educational rights have been terminated and a court pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code 361 or 726 has appointed a responsible adult. 

School of origin is the school that the foster youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled. If the school the foster youth attended when permanently housed is different from the school in which they were last enrolled, or if there is some other school that the foster youth attended within the preceding 15 months and with which the youth is connected, the district liaison for foster youth shall determine which school is the school of origin. This determination shall be made in consultation with and with the agreement of the foster youth and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the youth and shall be based on the best interests of the foster youth. (Education Code 48853.5)

Best interest means that, in making educational and school placement decisions for a foster youth, consideration is given to, among other factors, the proximity to the school at the time of placement, appropriateness of the educational setting, educational stability, the opportunity to be educated in the least restrictive educational setting necessary to achieve academic progress, and the foster youth's access to academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all district students. (Education Code 48850, 48853; 20 USC 6311)

Liaison Duties

  • To ensure proper school placement, enrollment, and checkout from school
  • To assist with the transfer of grades, credits, and records when youth transfer schools
  • To complete school record transfers within two (2) business days. (EC 48853.5)
  • Collaborate with the county office of education, county placing agency, county child welfare agency, county probation department, juvenile court, and other appropriate agencies to help coordinate services for the district's foster youth

District Liaisons

Jose Marquez
(559) 686-4761
Tulare Union High School
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Ana Rivera
(559) 686-8751
Tulare Western High School
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Erika Holguin
(559) 687-7308
Mission Oak High School
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Lorena Venegas
(559) 687-7400
Tech Prep/Countryside High School
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Sydney Hildreth
(559) 687-7384
Sierra Vista Charter High School
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Abel Loza
(559) 687-7303
Accelerated Charter High School
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Maria Bueno
Assistant Supt./Student Services & Special Programs
(559) 688-2021
District Office
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Rights of Foster Children

AB 490, Assembly Bill 490 (Steinberg) imposes new duties and rights related to the education of dependents and wards in foster care.

Preference for Public School

Foster children must attend programs operated by the local education agency unless the child has an IEP requiring a different educational placement, or the person with education rights determines that it is in the child’s best interest to attend a different educational program or to remain in the school of origin. (EC 48853)

Role of the School

Educational placements of foster youth must be made to ensure that youth have access to the same resources available to all students, that the educational placement is the least restrictive environment, and that the educational placement is in the youth’s best interest. (WIC 361, 726, Ed Code 48853)

Minimum Requirements for Graduation

Under the following Assembly Bills, students in transition have special rights to help them remain on track for high school graduation: AB 216 – Foster Youth

Students in transition (foster youth, students in homeless situations, and those transitioning from a juvenile court school) who transfer schools after their second year of high school may be eligible to graduate by completing the minimum California state graduation requirements if they are not reasonably able to complete all Tulare Joint Unified School District graduation requirements by the end of their fourth year of high school. Completing second year of high school is defined as either a) completing two years of high school; or b) completing sufficient high school credits to be considered a high school junior or senior.